Mega-events drive the nation’s tourism boom
In an exclusive interview with ITB Berlin News, Vinícius Lummertz, President at Embratur, the Brazilian Tourism Board, says that major events in the country have had a positive effect on its touristic attractiveness.
In 2016, we had an increase in visitor numbers of 4.6% compared to the previous year and a visitor record of 6.6 million, of which 221,513 were tourists from Germany.
The investments made in the country for the mega-events cycle – Confederations Cup, World Cup and Olympic Games – were decisive for Brazil to jump in the World Economic Forum’s Competitive Travel and Tourism Ranking from 51st in 2013 to 27th – in just four years.
We are very optimistic that Brazil will continue in this growth trend in the mid and long terms. It is important to say that Germany remains as a priority market for Brazil, ranking the 7th in the world among the countries that send tourists to Brazil.
How have the World Cup and Olympics affected global perception of the destination, and how are you attempting to perpetuate this?
At the end of the series of megaevents held in Brazil, (starting with the Pan-American Cup in 2007, followed by Rio+20, World Youth Day, the Confederations Cup, the World Cup and the Olympic Games) Brazil has benefitted from ample exposure to the outside world and the building of both basic and touristic infrastructure.
The total investment in the Olympic Games was R$11 billion, 57% from the private sector and 43% from the public sector. For every R$1 invested in sports facilities, another R$5 are applied in projects for the city that shall remain as a legacy for locals and tourists.
To keep the positive trend, Brazil is now implementing a series of measures for tourists planning to visit Brazil. One big step is the electronic visa that will facilitate the entrance of tourists coming from Japan, the United States and Australia. This upgrade of the tourism process will also leverage the sector in Brazil, generating more employment and income.
Brazil is also working to improve the air connectivity. In Europe, there were an increase in flights of 10.80% (from 852 to 944); as in seats of 9.54% (from 256,896 to 281,408), comparing February 2017 to the same period this year. Embratur is also working on content sharing in their social channels such as Facebook, Instagram and You Tube. Digital influencers are now playing a big role in the way we are promoting Brazil Internationally. In addition, we have been doing an intense work focused on tour operators aiming to increase the number of operators that are qualified to commercialize Brazil with excellence. This includes different activities such as workshops, roadshows and online trainings.
Do you have any new local “products” at ITB Berlin?
A total of 34 exhibitors will be present at the stand of Brazil, including Brazilian states, alongside with representatives from the travel industry, tour operators and hospitality. This year, the segments highlighted will be culture, ecotourism & adventure, and sun & beach. Within that, Brazil will be promoting its nautical and luxury segment, beyond the many resort options available.
How important is this show for Embratur as part of your marketing on a global scale?
The tourism fairs are one of the main tools to promote the potential of Brazilian tourism abroad. These events are great opportunities to promote our destinations and boost the generation of new business, which makes it possible to attract more international tourists to Brazil. ITB is one the most important events in the official calendar of Embratur due to its relevance in the international scenario
Hall 23b / Stand 203
Photo: Vinícius Lummertz President, Embratur